Jump to content

New hammer acquisition, 300 lb. Beaudry! Full rebuild with detailed pics.

Recommended Posts

Well, I had enough of trying to track down hammers, afford them, dicker over price, lose deals from distance and competition... so I contacted my friend Larry Langdon and sure enough, he had a good project hammer to sell me.

It's a #9 Beaudry Champion, the slack belt type, the 300 lb. model.  It needs dies and a sow block.  Overall it's not too badly worn but has a good surface rust coat from sitting idle in  a warehouse in Seattle for decades.  Larry threw in a jackshaft setup including 7.5 hp 1100 RPM 3 phase motor, a big flat pulley he fabricated for it, the right 3-groove sheaves to achieve speed range, and shaft and bearings so putting together the drive tower should be relatively simple.

I got a monster sow block from some old steam hammer with it too, which he'd found and been saving as a starter block to shape a smaller sow for the Beaudry from.  That's the most daunting part of the whole project, it's a lot of metal removal but I have no doubt it'll get done in the end.

I drove over to southern Idaho Memorial Day weekend to get it, 1200 miles round trip and 48.5 hours total.

Here's some pics...






I'll post more when I've made some meaningful progress towards getting it running!

Edited by Salem Straub
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Hey man!  Yeah I just posted it in reply over on my dagger thread, but it needs to live here, too!  Enjoy...  

Hopefully yes, my pal is coming by next weekend to help drill and epoxy the final bolt holes, and I'll wire the motor up, and hopefully we'll get some pattern welding done on it the next day!  Video i

Well, I had enough of trying to track down hammers, afford them, dicker over price, lose deals from distance and competition... so I contacted my friend Larry Langdon and sure enough, he had a good pr

Nice pick-up. Looking forward to seeing the restoration and running of it. I can't wait for the day when I have both the funds and space to hold a hammer or press. Keep us posted.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This should just be heavy enough to move some metal... :P 

'Grats, looking forward to seeing her all done up. You guys in the US definitely have the advantage on items like this. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'know, the Stagmers over at Baltimore Knife and Sword have one of those, a little smaller but the same type.  If you need any help with the setup give Kerry or Matt a holler, it might help things go smoothly.  Nice score!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Here's what I've been up to with this hammer!

I got the brake cleaned out and freed up, loosened.

Yesterday I cut the broken adjuster bolt out, and put a new one in for now. Probably go with something less tacky, ultimately.
I reefed on it super hard, sprayed pen oil all over, left overnight.

Came out today, and used a mild steel set hammer and sledge to rap upwards on the guide wedge. After a little of that, more reefing on the adjuster, until finally the wedge began to slide up a bit.

You can see the rust line where the ram sat in one spot for a long time! Not super deep pitting though.

I slapped some scrap together to make a quick "Big Ghetto Wrench" and hauled away on the crank pin nut.

And voila! The ram dropped farther in the guides, to bottom dead center, and the main shaft turned fairly easily.

Lots more drop with the crankshaft rotated and the ram free.

Crankshaft rotated to bottom position. Not hard at all with the brake and ram freed up!
Upon observation earlier, I saw some not totally dried grease hanging at the bottom of the crank bearings on both sides of the frame, leading me to hope that the shaft had not seeped full of water and rusted solid to the bearings over time. Seems like that worked how I'd have wished after all!

Now I have to make a 2.5" square (IIRC) driver/wrench to turn the set screws for the spring arm tension adjustment, and break all that free and take it apart so I can remove the ram to polish all of the moving bits up.

Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites


One end of the idler/brake linkage pivot shaft. It was well corroded from water getting into the oil holes and down into the babbitt bearings. The linkage was frozen and would not pivot, necessitating the freeing and removal of the old shaft.

I finally got the shaft out, it took a lot of Blaster and hammering back and forth on the ends, using a mild steel set hammer to cushion the blow of an 8# sledge. It was rusty enough to be scrapped, but the babbitt itself in the frame will live to fight another day.

Linkage yoke removed, and a piece of 1" round cold rolled steel try-fit in for a new shaft. It fits just a little loose, but this is not an area where precision of movement is key. I'll re-babbitt or perhaps bush with bronze later if warranted.


Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites


The new treadle/brake linkage shaft needed tapered holes for the pins, and neither I or the local machine shop had a taper reamer the right size... so I cut a piece of coil spring, straightened and annealed it, and chucked it up in the lathe to make a tapered "D" style reamer.


With a 1 degree taper cut onto the reamer, I milled off half of the diameter and stoned it smoothish.


Quench hardened and drawn to a straw temper...


Drilled some 19/64" holes and followed up with the tapered "D" style reamer. It cuts nice and smooth!


New shaft installed. The brake and treadle are workably linked and operational once more! A problem though with the inboard yoke for the treadle link, is that the pin hole drilled through the casting is not centered with the through shaft. As the hole in the shaft is centered, this creates some misalignment. A taper pin still sorta fits but it may need more attention later.


Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites

More yet...

I had an old tie bolt... 1" round mild steel, just long enough to make a treadle from. Here I'm roughing the bend in cold using a big piece of RR track as a bending "fork" and a cheater pipe. I then tuned the curve a bit with a 10 lb. sledge over the big sow block.


I cut and drilled some 2" x 1/2" bar to fit the treadle pivot dogs, a short one on this side, with the bolt/treadle welded directly on...


It makes a nice arc matching the outer circumference of the foot of the frame, and is adjustable in height/angle by the arced slots for the front mounting bolts.


My Airco CV300-II Mig over to the left... made short work of solid welds for the round-to-flat joints. 
The spring is too wimpy to work by itself, regardless of that I left excess treadle bar running out to the back, which will have a sliding counterweight fit to it. I plan to have both counterweight and spring there.


Next I have to get a piece of sheared taper pin out of the bottom linkage yoke inside the frame, and make/install a new one.


Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites

More tinkering to relate...

There was weirdness in the lower treadle linkage... found there was a shattered pin in the bottom yoke, which enabled the yoke to slip on the shaft rather than pivot to push on the connecting rod.
It was a pain in the NECK to get out. In the end I had to break out a flashlight and inspection mirror to line it up correctly, then use significant force to punch and pry the pin pieces up and out.


The yoke is in a position that makes it hard to get to the pin from below! Had to pry against the frame with pinch bars and various short punches against the pin.


I measured the old pin, which was 3.5" effective length, and found it to be about a 1 degree taper- .360" on the small end, .500" on the big end. Set the lathe up and used the compound rest to manually cut a new taper pin. I should really be using the 18" Hendey for this stuff but it's not as tooled up as my little Grizzly is, yet... 


Not the world's best finish, but good for a pin!


It tapped down in there nice and snug, and presto the linkage works how it should. Now I can step on the treadle and yell "bam bam bam!" all I want.

Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites

And this last post brings me up to date for now.

I do a lot of work on my knee mill. It's already proved invaluable on the hammer rebuild, as it has for the rebuild and ongoing maintenance of my Little Giant power hammer and other machines. Just had to give it a shout out, it's an Index model 645, with power X feed and quill. I used it on the wrench to follow...


The big set screws for the spring tension on the Beaudry have square sockets, which are a little irregular but are pretty much 1.940" both ways. I got a chunk of 2" hot rolled mild bar, and on the knee mill, roughed the sides down to 1.940" square and bored a 1" hole for a handle.


The Beaudry Tension Wrench in full... 2' of 1" cold rolled 1018 for a handle, sliding smooth with little play through the wrench head. A cheater pipe can of course be added as necessary.


The custom Beaudry Tension Wrench in action... gonna need to work on the threads a bit more with pen oil and possibly even heat though, we'll see.


I'll have to turn those screws out all the way, to get the springs and ram off, to re-condition the ram's inner and outer ways and the spring-arm rollers.

Edited by Salem Straub
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow Salem. Coming along nicely. There is something so eminently satisfying about a restoration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like you are making good progress! Do you need a large air compressor to run this, or does it have an internal piston? There is a guy near me that has an old nazel hammer that he isn't using, and it's just sitting outside. I have been looking around for a smaller power hammer like a little giant, but it might just be a case of go big or go home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Salem, I commend your tenacity, and being able to make parts is a great asset as well. It is a shame that so many of these old machines ended up being scraped or sit out in the weather. Back when these were made they were made to last. Often from the stories I read on this it was economic reasons and maybe some small or minor repair in the grand scheme of things that the giants were put out top pasture. The outside storage often did more damage than anything. 

I am tuned in to see how this project progress. Good for you, not only will you get the hammer you want when finished, but as well you rescued a piece of history!!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments guys!
Welsey, when faced with the possibility of getting a Nazel, I think one should always pursue it... but if you actually think it might pan out, be sure to educate yourself well on how they work and what to look for when inspecting one.  They can look great on the outside and end up costing thousands more than you bargained for, to make run.  Machining big parts and the like.  They sure are sweet hammers though!

In answer to your question, this is actually a purely mechanical hammer, so air is not involved in the workings of it.  Actually mechanicals are the most efficient type of hammer, as far as electricity consumed... a 300 lb. self contained hammer would need probably twice the motor that this one takes (7.5 hp.) and a 300 lb. utility hammer would need a big compressor, probably a 15 hp rotary screw or such.  So it's the best for my situation, which right now is a 60 amp subpanel for my whole shop.  This way I don't have to upgrade my power at all, I just convert to 3 phase for the hammer with my 10 hp Phase Perfect.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's some serious work!  Kudos to you for resurrecting that wonderful old beast, it deserves to live again.  Plus I almost spit water on my keyboard when you mentioned stepping on the treadle and yelling "bam bam bam!" :lol:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of action today... here goes:

As I was driving to a gig the other day, my thoughts were on the hammer... imagining the fabrication of an idler pulley. Then I realized- wasn't there an idler pulley on that old straight six agricultural motor I got with some old trucks? Had a look the next morning, and voila... there it is, lower right, 5" face and 8" in diameter, mounted on its own bearings (which are still in good shape.)


Turning to matters of adapting the idler to the hammer, the first item was to design a mounting method. The idler arm is bent from some unknown past force, such that any wheel mounted directly to it would be severely out of plane with the hammer's drive wheel.
So, I got one of the old 3/4" nuts from the idler arm, and made a custom T-nut with it to fit into the idler arm's slot.


Neither of the big bolts I had were the correct length, one being too short and one being too long. I decided to use the too-short one as the threads were better.
There had been a large washer/standoff on one of the bolts, on the idler- so I turned a counterbore into it that the big washer can seat into. This on the 1911 Hendey 18"x10' lathe.


My big Hendey lathe, take a bow old girl!


With the parts modified, and a plan in my mind, I decided to use my Airco 3A stick/TIG welder, as the leads are 50 ft. long and can run right over up to the top of the hammer to tack weld in situ.


It was pushing 100f as this photo was taken... the wheel is shimmed up to the right height with the idler, and I have a big flat old chainsaw bar clamped to the hammer drive wheel to transfer the plane of it to the face of the idler wheel. This should make it track right when tensioning the flat belt. I have the idler mount bolt tightened onto the arm, and am tacking the wheel's shaft mount to the angle adapter plate on the idler bolt.


I took it all down after tacking, brought it inside, and MIG'ed finish welds on all around. The plates involved act as angle adapters as well as standoffs to achieve correct distance from idler, and correct alignment with the drive pulley.


Mounted back up to have a look...

From the off side...


Observe the tiny blue sky gap between the wheels... you can see that they are parallel. Actually from the face angle of the belt they are more co-planar yet.


The hammer as he sits now.. idler installed, treadle fabbed and installed, brake freed and linkage corrected. Next is to make the adjustable connecting arm from brake pivot to idler arm.


Stay tuned!

Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is looking really good! Even though mechanical hammers are more efficient, why do people still prefer air hammers? is it because your foot determines the stopping point of the hammer, rather than the amount of force that the hammer exerts? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wesley, a few reasons... air hammers are good for not needing any height adjustment to work from a tall piece down to a small piece, and offer very good control throughout that range.  This makes the use of tooling pretty convenient.  Also, mechanical hammers above 250 lbs. ram weight are pretty rare, especially in the 400-500 lb. range.  I'm not aware of any mechanical hammers really being made over 500 lbs.  Air hammers can be as small as 50 lbs, and as large as 40 CWT (2 tons plus.)  
In general, many makes of mechanical hammers were targeted at smaller shops and smaller budgets, and so many were not truly industrial quality.  Some such as Fairbanks, Howe/St. Lawrence, Beaudry, and Bradley were quite well designed and built and had their place in heavy manufacturing.  Most of the old air hammers were designed and built to do heavy and demanding work in industrial settings, and are thus quite robust in their castings and parts.
A mechanical hammer with a good brake and clutch/slack belt design can have wonderful control too, and unlike a self contained air hammer, control over the speed as well as force and height of the blow.

Not everyone does prefer air hammers though, I know some folks with informed opinions who will prefer a Beaudry or Bradley in their shops.  I'd like some day to have self contained hammers by Massey and Nazel, and utility hammers by Chambersburg and Niles-Bement-Pond, in the enormous forging shop of my dreams...

Looking at the Beaudry Champion hammers, they really have more in common with steam/utility hammers, in terms of the frame and slide configuration.  They remind me quite a bit of the Ross/Rigby hammers and the Massey "in slides"  early self contained hammers.

I really couldn't stop working on the hammer today... I did get some paying work done this evening after the shop cooled off though.

Here's the afternoon's work.

I moved to a strategy to put serious torque on the Beaudry Wrench... and the set screw broke free! It turned fairly easily after that, and after freeing the second one it was apparent that both had remained well oiled but for the surface thread.


After surveying some options for hoisting the ram, I padded across the anvil ring with steel and timber and just turned the set screws out until the ram dropped and tipped onto the boards provided in its path.


Inspecting the rollers... pretty rusty, no surprise there.


This one has a major problem. A big part of the roller face is cracked and about to separate. If there had been any debate about making new rollers, this pretty much settles it. Also not a major surprise, and not a very difficult turning project.


I took the set screws all the way out, and with pen oil and light tapping and wrenching, loosened the ram height adjustment set screw and got the wedge out.


Delving into the mysteries of the spring box, I saw that the lower inner tie member of the casting was seriously cracked. Also, it looks as if someone in the past may have patched it at some point... trying to wrap my head around that pin thingy.


A view of the other side of the casting... equally cracked.
After thinking about this a bit, I'm going to forgo heating the whole thing up and welding or brazing it. The height adjustment rack was still quite tight in its position and the whole spring box still has heavy support from the sides and from above; the casting is cracked through at any rate on the lower tie member, so that part can't get worse unless new cracks begin elsewhere. At any rate this crack cannot propagate further.
If I need to in the future, I'll pull it out and deal with it.

Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites

After talking about this problem with some folks, and finding that the casting is mild steel rather than cast iron, I decided to weld it after all.

Here's the first side with the crack grooved out, using a combo of angle grinder, carbide burr, and sawzall. There were some voids in the casting...


Side number two grooved out.


I used an old soft aluminum jaw from the mil vise as a backer for the weld.


All welded full... second side looks more or less the same. I welded on the inside as well.


First side after grind cleanup.


Second side after cleanup.


Stress relief heating up to very dull red.


I got a big turnbuckle and some stuff for making the top linkage arm today, so that's getting monkeyed with next.

Edited by Salem Straub
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Salem Straub changed the title to New hammer acquisition, 300 lb. Beaudry! Full rebuild with detailed pics.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...